CALEXICO, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Centro station arrested a man suspected of smuggling 42 illegal immigrants, which most were dangerously packed in a towed utility trailer Tuesday morning.
The incident occurred at approximately 8 a.m., when agents observed a man driving a Ford F-250 with an enclosed utility trailer in tow. The vehicle was traveling away from a location that is known for human and narcotic smuggling.
Border Patrol agents conducted a vehicle stop and questioned the driver as to his citizenship. The driver stated that he was a Mexican citizen and indicated to the agents that there were people inside the trailer.
Border Patrol agents inspected the vehicle and trailer, which revealed 42 undocumented immigrants, 38 of which were in the trailer. The individuals inside the trailer were without food, water, ventilation or safety restraints. Additionally, the trailer was locked from the outside leaving the individuals with no way of exiting in case of an emergency. The trailer measured 12 feet by 6 feet, forcing the 38 individuals, two being juveniles, to cram together with no room for movement.
The driver, a 31-year-old man was determined to be a Mexican national illegally present in the United States.
The driver and all 42 undocumented immigrants, which included a total of three juveniles, were placed under arrest and transported to the Calexico station for further investigation.
“These individuals were put in extreme circumstances by a callous smuggling organization,” said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Ryan J. Scudder. “In the event of an accident the amount and degree of injuries could have been catastrophic. I am so grateful that our agents were able to keep these people from harm.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.